The Bicycle parade of the Bua-Kaani Unity Festival, 2022 was a sporty way of reawakening the consciousness that values once dictated the activities of life.
The parade saw youthful men and women rode on old bicycles, in a manner that seems to suggest that they were aged. In the past, these bicycles were the elitist means of transport within the local population, taking them to their daily places of assignments. Some went to the market to engage in barter trading, some went to the farm, others went to the stream to tap palm wine.
These activities and more were represented in the bicycle parade with all the theatrics, creating the needed fun and spectacles needed to spark up the yuletide. Also, each of the participating cyclists tied props at the back of their cycles to represent their choice activity.
For the youths of Bua-Kaani participating in the bicycle parade and indeed all the activities during the Bua-Kaani Unity Festival was a turning point in the recent histories of the community. It was the first time in about two decades that youths and the people of Teyor-Kaani and Gbor-Kaani were united in carrying out an activity following years of disagreements and infighting.
The bicycle parade was therefore the first social step in the renaissance process for Bua-Kaani and the youths made a loud statement about it, riding a distance well over six kilometers to State their claim to a united Bua-Kaani.
Dressed in predominantly old school attires, the youths (young girls inclusive) made the bicycles parade a theatrical showpiece, stunning residents of Bori, the traditional headquarters of Ogoni people, with their creative way of displaying value on the wheels.
Few of the cyclists came on the “white horse”, the bicycle with which some elites intimidated their fellow citizens in the past. With the ban on commercial bicycles in Bori for years now, the bicycle parade presented a spectacle never before seen by the young.
Old school as you may refer to it, the bicycles parade of the Bua-Kaani Unity Festival conveyed lots of messages, especially as it promotes good health, zero noise and carbon pollution, zero hassles on premium motor spirit (fuel) and affordable economic costs at yuletide.
With over 200 bicycles in the 2022 edition, organisers are optimistic on getting at least 1000 cyclists to participate in the 2023 Bua-Kaani Unity Festival, much as it is equally planning an iconic beach carnival for 2023.